Frequently Asked Questions About Mass Torts
Here, you can find some of the most commonly asked questions and answers about mass tort cases. Browse these FAQs, and our answers, to learn more about your rights and possible recovery if a dangerous drug or defective medical device has left you injured.
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When should I call a Roundup® injury lawyer?
Not everyone who used Roundup® needs to contact a Roundup injury lawyer. However, if you have non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, another type of lymphoma, or leukemia and you used Roundup, then now is the time to call an attorney.
What Happens When You Call a Roundup Lawyer
Once you contact a Roundup lawyer claiming that you have cancer from Roundup exposure, you can expect the attorney to schedule a free initial meeting with you. At that meeting, the lawyer will ask you questions, such as:
- How or where did you use Roundup?
- How long, or over how many years, did you use Roundup?
- What is your medical diagnosis?
- How has your cancer impacted your life?
- What is your prognosis?
Additionally, you can ask the lawyer your own questions at this meeting. Your questions may include:
- How long have you been practicing law?
- Why do you think I should pursue a Roundup lawsuit?
- How will my case work?
- What will be expected of me during litigation?
- What could be included in my recovery if my case is successful?
- Do you have any client reviews or testimonials that I review?
- What do you know about Roundup safety studies and warnings?
The goal of the meeting is for you and your lawyer to get to know one another, for your lawyer to assess your potential claim, and for you to decide whether you trust this lawyer to represent you.
Don’t Wait Too Long to Make the Call
Every state, including Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire, has a statute of limitations that gives you a time by which you must file a lawsuit. If you file a Roundup cancer case after this deadline expires, then the defense can file a motion with the court to dismiss your case and you won’t recover any damages.
Don’t take this risk. Instead, contact the local lawyer of Keefe Disability Law today for a free, no-obligation consultation. You can reach us any time by phone, by starting a live chat, or by filling out our online contact form.
What is preemption?
According to the United States Constitution, federal law must be followed by every state in the nation. That means that states can only enact laws that do not contradict federal law. This frequently complicated and nuanced legal concept is known as preemption, and it is often relevant in medical device injury cases.
Preemption in Medical Product Injury Cases
Preemption is a defense raised by medical device manufacturers in some medical device injury cases. The medical device makers argue that they cannot be sued if they followed the requirements of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Specifically, the preemption defense is often used when the medical device in question was approved through the FDA’s premarket approval (PMA) process. Before marketing a Class III medical device, the medical device manufacturer can get premarketing approval from the FDA. The medical device makers argue that as long as they follow all of the FDA’s requirements, they should not be legally responsible for injuries that result from their products.
A 2008 U.S. Supreme Court case established that the preemption doctrine applies to medical devices that the FDA decides are safe and effective during the PMA process. According to the court, once a medical device has PMA approval, state safety regulations that are different from or more stringent than federal safety regulations cannot be enforced. However, the court left open the possibility that state regulations that are the same as federal regulations may be enforceable if someone is hurt by a defective medical device.
Preemption of Essure Claims
In 2002, Essure got conditional pre-market approval from the FDA, and many women were given the option of a permanent form of birth control without surgery. Instead, during a doctor’s office visit, a woman could have a coil implanted in each fallopian tube. Over a few months, scar tissue would develop around the coils and prevent pregnancy.
Unfortunately, Essure had potentially dangerous side effects that many women didn’t know about before they consented to the procedure. Some of these women suffered significant pain, perforation of the uterus or fallopian tubes, migration of the coils into other parts of the body, and unintended pregnancies.
Some women began to file injury lawsuits. Bayer argued, however, that their claims should be preempted and not heard because Essure had PMA approval from the FDA.
Judges in California and Pennsylvania held that some claims against Bayer could move forward according to state laws because the state laws were the same as federal laws. These decisions allowed women to bring lawsuits against Bayer claiming negligent failure to warn, breach of warranty, fraud, and negligent misrepresentation.
Does Preemption Apply in Your Case?
Preemption is a powerful defense that could prevent you from making a fair legal recovery in your medical device injury case. Before you pursue a claim, you deserve to know about the strengths and weaknesses of your potential claim so that you can decide whether or not to seek justice.
The lawyers of Keefe Disability Law are committed to providing you with a thorough and honest review of your Essure or other medical device claim. The medical device manufacturer did not give you all of the information that you needed to consider all of your options and make a sound decision that was in your best interest—that shouldn’t happen to you again.
Therefore, we will provide you with an honest review of your potential claim so that you can decide whether you want to join or move forward with a mass tort medical device lawsuit. If you do have a case against a medical device maker, then we will fight hard to get you the compensation for your past and future medical expenses, lost income, out-of-pocket costs, physical pain, emotional suffering, and other damages that you deserve.
Call us or start a live chat with us at your earliest convenience to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with an attorney in our Natick law office.
Why should I hire a local lawyer for my mass tort case?
No one you know has been in this situation before, and you don’t know whom to trust. To recover damages from the pharmaceutical company that hurt you, you are going to need the help of a mass tort attorney, but whom are you going to hire? Without a personal recommendation, do you go with the attorney advertising on television or with someone else?
Choose a Local Mass Tort Lawyer Dedicated to Your Success
A mass tort case isn’t an individual personal injury case or a class action case. Instead, it has benefits of both types of legal actions. When you pursue mass tort litigation against a pharmaceutical company, you get to share in discovery and litigation costs, as you do in a class action case. However, your lawsuit will be decided independently as it would in a personal injury case.
In a mass tort case, you also have control over your own settlement or court case. Therefore, it is essential to hire an attorney whom you’ve met face to face and whom you trust to provide you with the legal representation that you need.
At Keefe Disability Law, we:
- Answer our clients’ phone calls. You won’t be frustrated by leaving a message that is not returned. We do everything possible to have a member of our legal team answer your call and talk to you. If that is not possible, then you will receive a call back quickly. Nationwide, one of the biggest frustrations with lawyers is the lack of return phone calls. We never want you to feel that frustration with our law firm.
- Partner with you. The more that we know about you, your medical condition, and your medical treatment, the more we can help you with your recovery. We want to know exactly how the medication or medical device hurt you so that we can fight for your full and fair recovery.
- Fight for your just recovery. We won’t stop fighting until you have received compensation for all of your past and future medical expenses, lost income, out-of-pocket costs, physical pain, and emotional suffering. Additionally, we will fight to hold the pharmaceutical company accountable by advocating for punitive damages, when appropriate.
Beware of Some National Mass Tort Attorney Advertisements on TV
A 2018 study found that pharmaceutical injury lawyer television advertisements that look like health warnings could mislead consumers. Some consumers stop their medications without the advice of their doctors after seeing these ads.
Additionally, many mass tort attorneys who advertise on TV have large national legal practices. Their size provides them with a large marketing budget to reach potential clients, but it does not give them the opportunity to provide clients with the personal attention they deserve.
Call Our MA NH RI Mass Tort Law Firm for a Free Consultation
You may never meet your attorney if you decide to hire someone who advertises nationally, but if you have been hurt in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, or New Hampshire, then you have the opportunity to meet with a mass tort lawyer close to home.
Our mass tort law firm represents people in all kinds of pharmaceutical mass tort cases, including cases where people were hurt by potentially dangerous medications, such as:
- Proton Pump Inhibitors
Our mass tort lawyers also represent people injured by defective medical devices, such as:
- Defective hip replacements
- Defective knee replacements
- IVC filters
- Hernia mesh
Additionally, our mass tort attorneys will represent people hurt by personal care products, such as Johnson & Johnson’s talcum-based baby powder and Monsanto’s Roundup® weed killer.
If you have been hurt by any of these medications, medical devices, or products, and you are a Massachusetts, New Hampshire, or Rhode Island resident, then we encourage you to contact Keefe Disability Law today for a free, no-obligation consultation about your rights. Your time to file a mass tort case is limited by law. Talk to a local lawyer directly before you decide who to hire to represent you in a mass tort action.
What is the difference between a class action case and a mass tort case?
Mass tort and class action cases are not the same. While both types of legal cases involve many plaintiffs with similar injuries from the same product, class actions and mass tort cases work differently, and the potential outcome for plaintiffs in each case is different. If you are injured by a defective medical device or dangerous medication, then it is important to know which kind of case might bring you the financial recovery that you deserve.
How Class Action Cases Work
A class action case allows all of the people with similar injuries from the same product to work together as one plaintiff. Class action cases must be established by the court. According to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a class action may be established if the following four criteria are met:
- There are so many potential plaintiffs that joining them is impractical
- There are questions of law or fact that are common to all of the plaintiffs
- The claims and defenses of the representative parties are typical of the claims and defenses of the whole class
- The representatives of the class will represent the interest of the class fairly
Individuals can opt-in or choose to be part of the class of plaintiffs. Acting together as one plaintiff, the individuals with injuries can share in the costs of discovering evidence, hiring legal counsel, hiring expert witnesses, and other litigation costs.
Since there are often many people in the class of plaintiffs, a representative plaintiff, also known as a lead plaintiff, may represent the group’s legal interests, but all plaintiffs will share in the damages awarded by the court or negotiated in settlement talks just as they share in litigation costs. A plan of distribution is typically developed and approved by the court to determine how much the plaintiffs will receive and the order in which they will be paid.
How Mass Tort Cases Work
Mass tort cases are different. In mass tort cases, like in class action cases, many injured people come together to sue a defendant for their injuries from the same product. However, in mass tort cases, the plaintiffs do not join together as one class.
Each plaintiff must file an individual lawsuit, and each plaintiff will obtain a personalized recovery.
Mass tort cases may be consolidated before one judge in a process known as multidistrict litigation (MDL). MDL allows one judge to preside over discovery and pretrial matters in cases that are alike. If a settlement is not reached, however, the case may go back to its original court for trial.
Benefits of Mass Tort Lawsuits
There are several benefits to joining a mass tort lawsuit rather than bringing your own case against a pharmaceutical company or another defendant. In a mass tort case, you:
- Get an individualized recovery. Your potential damages will be based on your own losses.
- Share in the costs of discovery and litigation. By sharing costs with others who have been hurt, you may have the financial resources to get the information you need from a large and well-funded defendant.
- May get a quicker recovery. Mass tort cases often move through the courts faster than individual cases.
- Can have your own attorney. You hire the lawyer whom you want to represent you and not the attorneys hired by other plaintiffs whom you’ve never met.
Contact a Mass Tort Lawyer If You Suffer a Pharmaceutical Injury
There are a lot of complicated legal decisions that need to be made to protect your recovery if you have been hurt by a medication, medical device, or another product.
Our dedicated legal team is here to help you if you have been hurt in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, or New Hampshire. We will thoroughly review your claim and advise you of your rights—free of charge. In addition to providing free consultations, our mass tort attorneys are paid on a contingency fee basis, meaning that you only owe legal fees if your claim is successful.
To learn more about your rights, your legal options, and your possible recovery, please fill out our online contact form or call us directly to schedule your free, no-obligation case evaluation.
What are the Monsanto Papers?
One of the key issues in Roundup® lawsuits is what Monsanto, the company that makes Roundup®, knew about the product’s safety and when it knew it. The Monsanto Papers is a collection of texts, emails, memoranda, studies, and other documents that were discovered during Roundup® litigation that identify what Monsanto knew about the possible dangers of Roundup® and when the company knew this critical information.
What Is in the Monsanto Papers?
In 2017 and again in 2019, information from the Monsanto Papers became declassified, and they are now available to the public.
In 2018 an article entitled The Monsanto Papers: Poisoning the Scientific Well was published in the International Journal of Risk and Safety in Medicine. The study’s author looked at 141 declassified documents in the Monsanto papers to see if Monsanto was influencing how scientific studies about the safety of glyphosate were reported. Glyphosate is the main ingredient in Roundup®. The study found that:
- Monsanto sponsored ghostwriting of articles published in toxicology reports and the media.
- Monsanto interfered with the peer-review process of its research.
- Monsanto created a website that appeared to be an academic website, but that was not an academic website to defend its products.
Additionally, the Monsanto papers reveal:
- Monsanto wrote articles and claimed that they were written by research scientists who did not write them.
- Monsanto was informed that the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) would issue a finding that glyphosate is potentially carcinogenic before the IARC’s finding was public. This allowed Monsanto to prepare a response before the news became public.
- Monsanto may have influenced the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) review of glyphosate safety.
- Monsanto failed to disclose information about how the human body absorbs glyphosate.
Together, the information in the Monsanto Papers indicates that Monsanto knew Roundup® could be a serious health risk and took steps to hide the risk from government regulators and the public.
Why the Monsanto Papers Matter
The Monsanto Papers may provide valuable evidence in your case if you have developed non-Hodgkin lymphoma from Roundup® exposure. Specifically, the texts, emails, memoranda, and other documentation may show that Monsanto knew of the Roundup® risks and failed to warn the public about those risks.
However, the Monsanto Papers alone will not be enough to prove your case. To recover damages, you will need to prove that Roundup® caused your cancer. Your attorney may use documentation of your history of Roundup® exposure, your medical records, other documentation, and expert testimony to make this critical connection for the court.
Fight for the Recovery You Deserve
Several people with non-Hodgkin lymphoma from Roundup® use have successfully pursued lawsuits, and they have been awarded millions of dollars—or more—in damages.
Now, our lawyers and the public know more about glyphosate safety and Monsanto’s actions than we did a few years ago, and our Roundup® injury lawyers will fight hard to get each of our client’s the fair recoveries that they deserve.
If you have non-Hodgkin lymphoma from Roundup® exposure, then your damages should include compensation for past and future:
- Healthcare costs. All medical costs including but not limited to medications, surgeries, doctors’ appointments, and hospitalizations should be included in your recovery.
- Lost income. Any income that you cannot earn because of your non-Hodgkin lymphoma should be part of your recovery. This includes wages, benefits, bonuses, and income from self-employment.
- Physical pain and emotional suffering. Your physical pain and your emotional suffering are likely among your most significant damages. These damages can be hard to quantify because there are no receipts or pay stubs to present as evidence. However, your lawyer can offer the right evidence to make sure that you are fairly compensated for your pain and suffering.
- Other compensatory damages. Any other out-of-pocket expenses, including things like transportation costs or funeral costs that are directly associated with your injuries, should be compensable.
- Punitive damages. Monsanto should be held accountable for its actions. Punitive damages seek to punish the defendant rather than to compensate the plaintiff for injuries. However, the practical effect of punitive damages is to provide the plaintiff with additional financial damages. Many of the Roundup® non-Hodgkin lymphoma cases have resulted in significant punitive damage awards.
To learn more about your rights and to protect your recovery, please contact our Roundup® injury lawyers today for a free, no-obligation consultation.